The supply of chicken available to eat in the United States continues to outpace beef, according to new food availability data from the USDA’s Economic Research Service.  In 2021, 68.1 pounds of chicken per person were available for human consumption, on a boneless, edible basis, compared with 56.2 pounds of beef.  The availability of chicken began to increase in the 1940s, overtaking pork availability in 1996 and surpassing beef in 2010 to become the meat most available for U.S. consumption.


Since 1980, U.S. chicken availability per person has more than doubled from 32.7 pounds.  There were 47.5 pounds of pork available in 2021, after fluctuating between 42.4 and 49.9 pounds per person over the last four decades, according to USDA.  Per-person fish and shellfish availability data are available only through 2019, when 19.1 pounds were available per person in the United States, up from the low of eight pounds in 1943.


If you have a story idea for the PNW Ag Network, call (509) 547-9791, or e-mail 

More From PNW Ag Network